LiM laser metal 3D printing equipment to help Foton Cummins in the automotive field of continuous innovation

Author: LiM Laser


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In 2022, a study released by SmarTech Publishing showed that the automotive market is expected to generate $9 billion in revenue from 3D printed finished parts alone, an 8-fold increase from 2019. With the rapid development of 3D printing technology, the automotive industry is using this technology to enhance market competitiveness.
In July 2020, diesel engine company Foton Cummins purchased the first metal 3D printing equipment (LiM-X260A series) from Laser for the trial production and verification of engine components to accelerate product updates and iterations.

LiM-X260A series equipment purchased by Foton Cummins

Nowadays, the competition in the automotive market is becoming increasingly fierce, and the speed of product iteration is accelerating. This has brought new challenges to the research and development of automotive parts, especially engines: high performance, low cost, and fast iteration... Only when all aspects of design, production, verification, and delivery can meet market demand in a timely and smooth manner, can Foton Cummins continue to enhance its competitiveness.
Fast product development speed
Compared to traditional production methods, Foton Cummins can use metal 3D printing technology to more accurately print design drawings into part models for subsequent experimental verification. When there are problems, design modifications can be made immediately, and printing and verification work can be carried out again until the final design scheme is determined. It can be said that 3D printing technology has greatly shortened the design, verification, and optimization cycle of Foton Cummins, improved the production efficiency of research and development design, and accelerated the pace of research and development.
Low design and development costs
Using traditional manufacturing methods, every design optimization requires a new mold to be created, which not only takes a long time but also incurs high costs. Taking the Venturi tube as an example, different calibers and structural designs can produce completely different effects. If each one is molded and produced one by one, the cost will be too high. And metal 3D printing has great advantages in small batch manufacturing: as long as there is a 3D digital model, it can be printed, integrated forming, and lower cost.

Design verification using LiM-X260A series equipment to print Venturi tubes

Comprehensive innovative applications
Fukuda Cummins also innovatively replaced plastic parts with metal 3D printed components for research and development verification. Taking the fuel injector harness bracket on the engine as an example, this part is made of plastic material in actual use. However, in order to save mold costs, increase the strength and wear resistance of the part, it has been decided to use metal parts instead. It not only ensures structural dimensions and verification strength, but also reduces time and production costs.

Fuel injector harness bracket printed using LiM-X260A series equipment

Service&After sales: Customer first, high reliability
"The technical support and after-sales support have achieved customer first," said Zhang Bo, a senior engineer at Foton Cummins Testing Center. "The process team of Radiant Laser is very strong, and we believe that some parts are difficult to print and there are certain problems in making slicing files. The process team will help us do it and provide technical support.". Moreover, whether on weekdays or weekends, whether during the day or at night, whenever we encounter technical problems or unclear areas, we can promptly contact after-sales or sales personnel to help us solve the problem.
Looking ahead: Strong alliance with broad prospects
When discussing the application prospects of metal 3D printing technology in the automotive field, Engineer Zhang Bo said that there are many metal parts of different sizes on cars, many of which can be tested and verified using metal 3D printing technology. Nowadays, the LiM-X260A series equipment not only meets the printing needs of Foton Cummins itself, but also prints parts for sister units such as Wuhan Cummins and Beijing Foton. We believe that the future application prospects will be even broader.

Venturi tube, turbocharger connecting flange, turbocharger bracket, and injector harness bracket printed on LiM-X260A series metal 3D equipment

Foton Cummins has provided products and services to millions of customers in the Chinese market. As a provider of overall metal 3D printing solutions, Radiant Laser also hopes to provide comprehensive support for Foton Cummins in equipment, technology, after-sales, and other aspects, helping Foton Cummins to continuously innovate in the automotive field. The in-depth cooperation between both parties has given Laser more confidence in continuously exploring the market and promoting the vigorous development of metal 3D printing technology in various industries and fields.


Metal 3D printing equipment, metal 3D printing technology

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